Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals was a debacle for the Cavs. The loss was potentially devastating for the Cavs chances of getting their star the only thing he doesn’t have and wants—an NBA title. The problem was not rust after the long layoff. The Cavs started fine and built a double digit lead. The problem wasn’t an off night for Lebron—he scored 49. I can’t believe that the Cavs took the Magic lightly because they had just finished off the NBA champion Celtics.
The problem was that the other 4 starters for the Cavs had the most expensive seat in the house—standing on the floor watching Lebron take on the Magic alone.
I am a self admitted Cavs fan. That aside, I couldn’t believe that with less than 15 seconds left, the Cavs kicked the ball out for a 3 when they were only 1 point behind! With all star big man Dwight Howard on the bench with 6 fouls, take the ball to the hole!
The thing that worries Cav fans the most was watching the Cavs in the 4th quarter turn into Lebron and the 4 statues. He can do a lot but can’t beat the Magic all by himself.
This was the kind of game that the Cavs won regularly even when the Magic got close and took the lead in the last 2 minutes. They would come back and hit the last couple of shots then get a stop at a critical juncture to preserve the win. But Lebron’s mates were just standing there.
This was potentially a very expensive loss. The Cavs have to win a championship this year or next and preferably both in order to keep Lebron from leaving as a free agent. The key to this series will be games 2 and 3. If the Cavs come back and win the second game in Cleveland and then go to Orlando and win game 3 everything will be fine. But if the Cavs can’t take back home court advantage in the 2 games at Orlando, they could be in trouble.
Orlando has as good a team as the Cavs and maybe better. The Magic has no answer for Lebron. But Cleveland seems to have no answer for Howard. Rashard Lewis has been outstanding in the playoffs. Hedo Turkoglu has also been strong for the Magic.
For the Cavs Delonte West has stepped up during the playoffs but both Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are several points under their scoring per game in the regular season.
There is nothing in the NBA more exciting than watching Lebron James live in person. Cav fans will just have to hope the other 4 players on the floor don’t stop playing to enjoy the James show. If they do, the Cavs will be watching the finals from their living rooms.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .